Tobacco’s Bee Sting Relief: Anesthetic & More Explained

Why Does Tobacco Help Bee Stings

You’re enjoying a lovely sunny day; out of nowhere, a stinging insect decides you’re its target. It’s not like the bee zeros in; it’s just that we get in its way or it feels threatened.

The stinging stinger pain is a lot, but it generally subsides with a bit of attention. But for some people, a severe allergy to a bee attack can be fatal.

We will examine why tobacco helps a bee sting and look at how to treat them with the tools we have.

Why does tobacco help bee stings?

If you’re looking for a scientific explanation, there really isn’t one. But, all old wives’ tales have some basis in actual fact – nicotine is a natural anesthetic.

We don’t always walk around with a first aid kit with painkillers; we have to work with what we’ve got.

3 Reasons Why Tobacco Helps Bee Stings


Nicotine is an active ingredient in tobacco. It acts as a natural anesthetic and helps to reduce the pain within a few minutes.

(For most people, the pain will go away on its own in 5 minutes or so.)

How do I apply tobacco to the bee sting?

  1. Pinch off a chunk of tobacco at the end of a cigarette. (chewing tobacco works, too)
  2. Juice a little spit and get it wet.
  3. Take the brownish juice and apply it to the insect sting.
  4. DO NOT use a menthol cigarette because it will burn. 

Placebo Effect

Panic is part of getting an insect bite because it tends to happen at the dumbest moments. The fact we don’t know how our bodies react is another layer of anxiety.

Slathering the sting in tobacco juice will help soothe both the bite and the mind.

Calms Kids Down

When your kid freaks out, you freak out, and then they freak out more. 

Using cigarette tobacco to help the bee sting distracts them while the sting’s pain subsides.

Does tobacco help bug bites?

The tobacco sting treatment applies to any bug that bites. Wasps, hornets, and monster fly bites are sometimes more painful than your run-of-the-mill bee. 

What stops the sting of a bee?

Stay away and Be Aware

We don’t think about where we are stepping or recognizing when we’ve gotten too close to a hive. If you’re hiking or outdoors, just know where you’re stepping, and don’t forget to look up every once in a while.

Stand Still

Don’t run when you’ve got bees dancing around you. They don’t want to bite you because they die. So, stand still until they move on.

It won’t be easy, but it will save you and the bee from unnecessary pain and suffering.

Don’t Panic

If a bee lands on you, freeze in place.

You aren’t a flower; they aren’t interested. It won’t take bees but a few seconds to fly off to greener pastures.


Let’s go back to the flower thing. If you smell like one, they’re most likely to confuse you for one. 

Some perfumes and colognes can confuse bees, so when you’re in the wilderness, try to smell as neutral as possible to avoid insect bites.

Bright Colors

Camouflage hides you, but it actually protects you somewhat from insect bites.

Bees and other biting critters are drawn to bright colors because you resemble a pollen-creating plant.

Will tobacco help a bee sting?

Tobacco will help a bee sting until you can access better first aid. 

If you know that someone is allergic to insect stings, call 911 as soon as possible.

Protect Your Feet

Green grass feels like magic on the bottom of our feet. But, if we’re looking to avoid bee stings, we can’t risk it. 

The most common way people get bee poked is by stepping on them accidentally. 

How To Treat a Bee Sting

  1. Call 911 ASAP if you know for a fact you’re allergic.
  2. Carefully remove the stinger. Use a credit card or thumbnail to scrape the stringer from the skin safely.
  3. Don’t pinch or yank the stinger out with fingers or tweezers. It can cause the release of additional venom.
  4. Apply any topical painkiller you’ve got access to – tobacco or onion. 
  5. Ideally, you’ve got an ice or cold pack to apply so that the capillaries constrict and the swelling reduces. It also helps mitigate pain.
  6. Scratching the itch can cause dirt and bacteria to get into the opening and can lead to infection.
  7. Clean the surface with soap and water. Apply antibiotic cream. Baking soda and water make a good home remedy.

Does toothpaste help bee stings?

Using toothpaste as a bee sting remedy is seemingly another cure that isn’t backed up by any science. But, the theory is that alkaline toothpaste neutralizes the acidic honey bee venom. 

Is alcohol good for bee sting?

Rubbing alcohol tends to add more pain, not subtract it. 

You do want to use some sort of cleaning agent, and alcohol is a great option. But not if you’re looking for an anesthetic.  

Is mud good for a bee sting?

A lot of us don’t smoke or chew tobacco. When all else fails, use some mud until you can access better first aid.

The mud relieves the itches and pain caused by a bee sting. But you will want to wash it off as soon as possible with soap and clean water. 

What happens if a bee stinger is not removed?

After ensuring no one is dying from an allergic reaction, getting the stinger out is the priority. The longer the stinger stays in the skin, the chances of it reducing more venom increase exponentially.

The more poison released, the more the wound hurts and swells. The chances of a bad reaction go up, too.

FAQs about Tobacco & Bee Stings

What makes a bee sting better?

The best course of action is to wash the surface area with soap and water to get rid of any residual venom. You want to reduce the chances of an infection.

You’ll then want to apply a cold pack for about 20 minutes to control the pain and swelling in the long term.

Can you get a blood infection from a bee sting?

The bee itself doesn’t cause a blood infection. But microbes can sneak their way into the wound the stinging insect caused.

Can you put chewing tobacco on a wasp sting?

You can only use what you have access to in an emergency. Tobacco does work as a substitute anesthetic.

If you’re hiking or camping, a handy first aid kit will save you from the misery of a sting’s aftermath. And, you will have the supplies in the case of a bad reaction.

Why does a bee sting hurt days later?

For some people, a local reaction occurs when a bee bites them. It comes with pain, tons of irritating itching, and visible swelling. A local reaction can last 3 to 10 days.

Should I pop a bee sting blister?

No, nope, don’t do it. It is so tempting to pop the bee blister because it has stopped hurting for the most part. But, when you give in to the urge, the wound opens up, and you can get an infection. 

Contact a medical professional if the blister doesn’t resolve or starts to extend. 

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.